Nov. 9, 2012
|Katie Norris||13||2||1||Stephanie Nwachukwu||10||1||0||Abby Simmons||40||5||0|
NUMBERS OF NOTE
11 Houston saw three defenders notch 11 digs each in Natalie Keck, Katie Norris and Meredith Ware.
14 Senior Katie Norris notched her 14th career double-double, leading Houston with 13 kills and 11 digs.
22The Cougars recorded a match-best 22 block assists.
HOUSTON — Senior Katie Norris led the way for the University of Houston volleyball team with 13 kills and 11 digs, but the Cougars fell short, dropping their Friday night Conference USA match, 3-1, at SMU.
Following Norris’ 13 kills were fellow seniors Stephanie Nwachukwu and Chandace Tryon with 10 and nine, respectively.
Defensively the trio of Norris, junior Meredith Ware and sophomore Natalie Keck each collected 11 digs apiece to lead the Cougars. Following them were freshman Olivia O’Dell with nine and senior Abby Simmons with eight. The Cougars out-blocked the Mustangs 24-17, with Norris leading the way with three solo and four block assists.
Houston out attacked the Mustangs in the match .155 to .123, but 14 service aces would help lead SMU to victory. Courtney Manning and Maddie Lozano led the Mustangs with 10 kills apiece.
SMU 3, HOUSTON 1
Set 1: SMU 25, Houston 22
The Cougars jumped out to an early 7-4 lead in the match. From there the two teams went on to trade points throughout the middle part of the first frame. However after a block assist by Tryon and Norris the Mustangs would go on a 5-0 run forcing the Cougars to call a time out. SMU would never relinquish that lead and the Mustangs were able to fight off a late Cougar rally taking the first set 25-22.
Set 2: Houston 29, SMU 27
Houston again got off to a hot start in the second set, jumping out to a 6-1 lead, led by a barrage of kills and blocks from the Cougars, forcing the Mustangs to call an early timeout. Coming out of the timeout the Mustangs reeled off four consecutive points before Norris was able to stop the run with a kill to make the score 7-5. From there the set went back and forth with the Cougars stretching the lead to 17-12 and forcing the second SMU timeout. After the timeout the Mustangs used a 12-7 run capped off by a Tryon error to tie the game up at 24 all. After the Mustangs took their first lead of the set at 26-25, the Cougars got consecutive points from Norris (one kill and one block) to take the lead back. Tied at 27, Houston got back-to-back block assists to win the set 29-27.
Set 3: SMU 25, Houston 20
Both teams came out ready to play in the third set, with neither team being able to swing momentum in their favor. However, with the score 13-12 SMU, the Mustangs would rattled off three straight points, helped out by two Cougar errors to take their largest lead of the set so far at 16-12. The Cougars would not pull back within four in the set as a final service error gave the set to the Mustangs.
Set 4: SMU 25, Houston 22
The fourth set was more of the same, with neither team being able to gain any momentum on the other squad. Neither team would go on to lead by more than three points in a set that featured 12 tied scores throughout the frame. In the end SMU would use two separate runs to take control of the set. With the score all knotted at 17, SMU used three straight points, capped off by an Olivia Bailey kill to make the score 20-17. Houston would fight back to tie the score at 21-21 with a kill by freshman Shelby Vance. From there, SMU would go on another three-point swing led by an error and two kills to take the lead 24-21. The Mustangs were able to hold off a late rally and capture the match on a final attacking error.
The Conference USA Championship will be held in Tulsa next weekend (Nov. 16-18). The Top 8 teams from the league will compete. Official seeding and pairings will be available following the conclusion of Sunday’s matches. For more information regarding the Championship, visit http://www.conferenceusa.com/championships/w-volley-championship-12.html.
Following the weekend action, Houston will take part in the Conference USA Championship held in Tulsa, Okla. on Nov. 16-18. The official seeding will be available following the conclusion of Sunday’s match.